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Big Unit takes loss, soars into second on career K's list

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MILWAUKEE -- Seth McClung didn't want to get caught up in the notion that he was going pitch-for-pitch with Randy Johnson, especially on a night when the Big Unit reached another lofty milestone.

But those bats the Brewers' right-hander used to slap the first two hits of his career against the Arizona Diamondbacks' venerable veteran? McClung said he's sending them straight to the hall -- the one in his house, anyway.

All-time strikeout leaders
Pitcher Total
1. Nolan Ryan 5,714
2. Randy Johnson 4,680
3. Roger Clemens 4,672
4. Steve Carlton 4,136
5. Bert Blyleven 3,701
6. Tom Seaver 3,640
7. Don Sutton 3,574
8. Gaylord Perry 3,534
9. Walter Johnson 3,509
10. Greg Maddux 3,349

"Randy Johnson's one of the greatest pitchers of all time," McClung said. "I just saw it and swung."

Johnson began Tuesday night by passing Roger Clemens and taking sole possession of second place on baseball's career strikeout list. But it was McClung, Ryan Braun and the Brewers who came away with a 7-1 victory.

Milwaukee now has won five straight and eight of its last nine games after a disappointing start to the season.

"Even when times were tough for us earlier in the year, nobody on our team panicked," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "We stayed patient, we understood that things would turn around and guys would get hot."

Milwaukee had to stay patient at the plate with Johnson (4-2), who was nearly untouchable through the first five innings. His first-inning strikeout of Mike Cameron was the 4,673rd of his career, putting him in second place but still far behind Nolan Ryan's 5,714.

"If I was to retire right now, I'd be pretty proud of where I stand in the history of the game, simply because I never imagined doing these things," Johnson said.

Johnson went on to strike out eight and gave up only three hits through five -- all singles, two of which came from McClung.

"I'm sure we're going to hear about that," said Brewers reliever Brian Shouse, who pitched the final two innings for his second save.

Johnson made a stunning play on a sharp ground ball by Prince Fielder in the fourth, reaching back to his left and snagging the ball out of the air with his bare left hand.

"I'm sure it'll be a little black and blue tomorrow," Johnson said.

But Johnson got in trouble with a 1-0 lead in the sixth, walking Cameron to lead off the inning and giving up a go-ahead two-run homer to Braun, his 16th of the season. Tuesday was the first time Braun, the 2007 NL Rookie of the Year, had faced Johnson.

"I don't think after three at-bats I can give you a great orientation of what I think of him," Johnson said. "The numbers indicate he's a pretty good dog-gone player."

Braun was impressed.

"He was on top of his game, too," Braun said. "He was dominant."

Milwaukee added to its lead in the seventh when Joe Dillon's double drove in J.J. Hardy from first. Johnson was taken out of the game, tipping his hat as he received respectful applause from Brewers fans.

"As a visiting player, that meant a lot," Johnson said. "That's pretty classy and I won't ever forget that."

Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said Johnson needed some help from the offense.

"We're putting some decent individual at-bats together, we're just not stringing them together," Melvin said. "I don't know if he can do much more to give us a win."

Despite Johnson's early dominance, Milwaukee was within striking distance thanks to a strong outing by McClung (3-2), who gave up a run and six hits over six innings in his third start of the season.

The Brewers' offensive struggles included two strikeouts by Bill Hall, who caused a stir this week when his agent suggested that the team would be better off trading him than keeping him in a platoon with Russell Branyan at third base.

Brewers fans didn't react strongly when Hall's name was announced before the game, but the boos intensified after Hall struck out for the second time.

"That's not a problem," Yost said. "That just shows you the passion our fans have."

But Hall, who ended up in a platoon role because of his struggles against right-handed pitchers this season, did single off righty reliever Max Scherzer.

Notes

  • The Brewers got home runs from Fielder (10) and Hardy (3) in the eighth.
  • The Diamondbacks' fielding problems continued Tuesday, as shortstop Stephen Drew and second baseman Orlando Hudson both committed errors.
  • Melvin said outfielder Eric Byrnes, who has been on the disabled list since May 27 because of a right hamstring strain, worked out on a stairmaster Tuesday and could begin running at Pittsburgh later this week.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Randy Johnson may not lock down the W, but he does improve his place in history.  (AP)
Randy Johnson may not lock down the W, but he does improve his place in history. (AP)

Players of the Game
Milwaukee

J. Hardy
AB 4
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Milwaukee

R. Braun
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Arizona Diamondbacks
Stephen Drew, SS4010000 .268
Chris Young, CF4010011 .239
Orlando Hudson, 2B4110011 .302
Chad Tracy, 1B4000012 .214
Mark Reynolds, 3B3021100 .249
Miguel Montero, C3000012 .283
Justin Upton, RF3000002 .270
Jeff Salazar, LF3010011 .258
Randy Johnson, P2000011 .143
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
   a- Chris Burke, PH1000000 .171
    Max Scherzer, P0000000 .000
Totals3116116  
a-lined out for Cruz in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Reynolds (7, McClung), Jeff Salazar (3, McClung)
RBI - Mark Reynolds (34)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Stephen Drew (5, Misplayed grounder), Orlando Hudson (7, Throwing)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Randy Johnson (L,4-2) 6.1643181 3.88
Juan Cruz 0.2000010 3.38
Max Scherzer 1333012 3.04
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Johnson 100-70, Juan Cruz 14-10, Max Scherzer 18-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Johnson 3-9, Max Scherzer 2-0
Batters Faced - Randy Johnson 27, Juan Cruz 2, Max Scherzer 6
Milwaukee Brewers
Rickie Weeks, 2B3011011 .209
Mike Cameron, CF3100132 .220
Ryan Braun, LF4112022 .296
Prince Fielder, 1B4111010 .280
Corey Hart, RF4000000 .286
Bill Hall, 3B4110021 .228
J.J. Hardy, SS4222011 .250
Jason Kendall, C4000001 .249
Seth McClung, P2020000 .400
    Tim Dillard, P00000001.000
   a- Joe Dillon, PH1111000 .294
    Brian Shouse, P0000000 .000
Totals33797110  
a-doubled for Dillard in the 7th
Batting
2B - Joe Dillon (2, R. Johnson)
HR - Ryan Braun (16, R. Johnson), Prince Fielder (10, Scherzer), J.J. Hardy (3, Scherzer)
SF - Rickie Weeks (2)
RBI - Rickie Weeks (20), Ryan Braun 2 (44), Prince Fielder (31), J.J. Hardy 2 (17), Joe Dillon (3)
2-OUT RBI - J.J. Hardy 2 (9)
SB - Corey Hart (10, 2nd base off R. Johnson/Montero)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Ryan Braun 1
DP - Hall-Weeks-Fielder
Milwaukee Brewers
Seth McClung (W,3-2) 6611040 4.25
Tim Dillard (H,1) 1000110 0.00
Brian Shouse (S,2) 2000010 2.14
Pitches-Strikes - Seth McClung 79-53, Tim Dillard 19-10, Brian Shouse 28-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Seth McClung 5-7, Brian Shouse 4-1
Batters Faced - Seth McClung 22, Tim Dillard 4, Brian Shouse 6
Game Information
Attendance - 29478
Game Time - 2:27
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Bruce Dreckman, Second Base - Brian Gorman, Third Base - Gerry Davis